“His covenant was not broken because the law or covenant itself was evil or faulted; it was broken because the people were.”
Hello Pd! You have been a blessing to me watching your YouTube videos. I have been struggling to understand in your videos law vs grace however in regards to the “old” law. I thought the law we were commanded to follow now is the 10 commandments, which was stored in the ark of the covenant on stone tablets (a picture of our hearts of stone and now with a new heart of flesh that law is now wrote upon our hearts). 2 cor 3, in verse 6 Paul contrasts the new with the ‘letter which speaks of the old covenant (the old covenant is obsolete Hebrews 8.13) and the new established Hebrews 8.6? I have understood we should now live by the terms of the new, Blessings Hannah
Thanks for the email.
Just a few things to think about, when the stone tablets were placed in the ark, did Israel need to follow the rest of the commandments God gave them too? Yes of course. If they said they refuse to follow any instruction not on the stone tablets (10 commandments), they would be cut off from the rest of the people. The 10 commandments can be seen as the cornerstone of the law, but nowhere in the word will we see God ever say: “Keep the 10, but forget about the rest”. In fact, we continuously see how the Psalmist (Psalm 119) and other writers sing and write praises around the topic of His entire torah/law (first 5 books of the Bible). If the rest of the law is done away with, then what about homosexuality, drunkenness, pride and pre-marital sex? None of these are considered directly in the 10 commandments. Yet we know they are wrong because the torah/law tell us so.
The law has been “split up” in these 3 categories by men:
- Love God and love your neighbor
- The 10 commandments
- The rest of the Torah and Prophets
When Jesus said that loving God and your neighbor is the two greatest commandments, I think we can agree He never meant it replaces the 10 commandments, but only summarizes it. That is why Jesus said:
“On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
– Matt 22:40 –
So ALL the law and the prophets (10 commandments – and the rest) hangs on these greatest 2 commandments. Notices He never said that love “replaces” or “does away with” the rest, but depends on it. So without the law and the prophets, there is no love!
Love God and your neighbor is actually given to us in the torah for the first time (Lev 19:18), along with the rest of the 10 commandments. They are all integrated, there is no distinction made except by their importance. The 10 commandments written on stone, includes the rest of the torah, because it is simply a summary of it. For example, if you wanted to “Love God”, you would only know how by the torah, because the torah tells us how. If you wanted to keep the sabbath (4th commandment), you would not know how unless you consulted the torah. See how that works? The 10 commandments is simply a summary of the torah, and points to the torah! Just like on the 2 greatest commandments “depends on all the Law and the Prophets.”
“Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am יהוה.”
– Leviticus 19:18 –
What’s my point?
- Jesus points to the Torah as He is the Word of God (Torah) made flesh
- The Torah points to Jesus as the coming messiah
- The Torah tells us to love God and our neighbor
- Loving God and our neighbor depends on all the Torah and the Prophets.
- Jesus says to “Love God and love your neighbor”
See how it is all connected in unity, and not disconnected or separated?
Much of the church has split the law of God into “ceremonial” and “moral” laws, which is where your confusion might be from. There is no mention of moral or ceremonial law in God’s word, and no distinction is made. In fact, we read about the “moral law” (10 commandments) within the “ceremonial law” (torah) multiple times. These are man-made distinctions with no basis in the Word.
“Walk in God’s law, which was given through Moses”
– Nehemiah 10:29 –
“One law and one rule shall be for you, and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”
– Numbers 15:16 –
Now for your question on Hebrews
Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Did God give us a first covenant that was not perfect? Did He give us something broken? Of course not! His covenant was not broken because the law or covenant itself was evil or faulted; it was broken because the people were. The Leviticus priesthood had become corrupted, and the issue was the people/priests.
Verse 9 confirms this: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
So God saw we cannot keep it, came in the flesh to make an offering by the cross, to sprinkle our consciousness clean, and write His torah/law on our hearts to cause us to walk in His new covenant just like Jesus – and Jesus kept it all 🙂
His new covenant is not better because the law has changed, it is better because He now changes our very nature by His Spirit to become a new creation capable of keeping His law through grace. He didn’t abolish His law away to excuse us, He enabled us to keep His standard of Holiness.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
– Ezekiel 36:26 –
The entire book of Hebrews is about the priesthoods. Everything about it is about the Leviticial priesthood (which we established has become corrupt by the time Christ came to die) and the Melchizedek priesthood (which is the priesthood of messiah where He makes atonement in the heavenly tabernacle for us). When it says the covenant has passed away for the new to come, it is not speaking of God’s law/torah. The change is the people the covenant has been made out to (like we read in verse 9). When a house lease is broken or ended, it is shred up, and a new contract is written up to the new tenant. But the terms do not change, in fact, God tell us that the “terms” are that He will give us a Spirit to move us to do all His torah!
The only law that has passed away is the law of sin and death and the law of Christ (eternal life) has come to replace it.
- Law of sin and death: If you sin, the consequences of that sin is eternal separation from God
- Law of Christ: If you place your faith in Him, and accept His offering for your atonement, He takes the consequences of sin and death upon Himself for you to inherit eternal life.
What is the difference between the old and the new covenant?
In the old covenant, the law of God was only seen as a list of requirements, and people had no new nature. In the new covenant, God sent both His Spirit and Son. The Son, to bring us a greater revelation of His Torah (Matthew 5:17), to die for our lawlessness (1 John 2:2), and to provide us with the grace that enables us to be obedient to Father’s instructions (Titus 2:11-14). The Spirit, to dwell in us, make us a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) that enables us to walk as the Son walked (1 John 2:6).
The difference is the appearance of Christ and Him becoming our high priest to make atonement for us in the heavenly tabernacle, and the new people God is making this covenant with to write it on their hearts.
So the torah did not pass away with the new covenant, it cannot! How can I say that with certainty? Because in the Torah, God establishes the definition of evil/sin. The law shows us what sin is (1 John 3:4). So now, can the definition of evil change? Can what was an abomination to God, now become good? Never, because for that to occur, God needs to change. We know He never changes.
I would like to submit to you, that the only thing that has changed His law, is us. With either tradition or rebellion we have considered His law as a strange thing (Hosea 8:12).
The truth will set you free 🙂
“His new covenant is not better because the law has changed, it is better because He now changes our very nature by His Spirit to become a new creation capable of keeping His law through grace. He didn’t abolish His law away to excuse us, He enabled us to keep His standard of Holiness.”